The Flying Dog hostel, our new accommodation in Lima, sits opposite Kennedy Park in the trendy suburb of Miraflores. The area is home to some of the city's fashionable shops, bars and restaurants. The park is known for its flowers and its cats in fact you can adopt one from a booth in the park. It also hosts photo exhibitions, shoe shine guys, and a tiny, round, open-air performance arena, with banked seating. Both evenings we were there, the space was being used as a kind of ballroom dance hall stage. RSA [Returned Services Assn] dancing night, Lima-style.
Older men would approach a woman on the front couple of rows of benches and ask her to dance, and they would take to the floor for a number or two. The spectators in the seating above would ling along to obviously popular tunes. One night there was a live band, the next recorded music. It was all extremely civilised.
One day we headed off to Barranco, which used to be an upmarket holiday resort for "Limenos" and is now a rather scruffy, but trendy place to wander around on a Sunday afternoon. There was a food fair going on in the main square, and also a dog fair, where you could buy accessories for your pooch. Actually, you don't often see a dog on a lead - mostly they are just happily free range, when they aren't getting splattered across the street by passing vans. So a backpack enabling owners to carry their dog safely when they are riding their bike seems a tad excessive. (Actually, you don't see many people on bikes, either.)
We pottered around for a while, taking photos of a couple of Peru's famous hairless dogs, and then suddenly crossed a little bridge and there was a church covered in vultures. Dozens of them all doing what vultures do in the best cowboy movies - not much. It was most unexpected. We haven't seen vultures before or since.